Being a nurse is a very exciting experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a first time mother or if you are expecting your second or third born. The thought of just holding the little one in your arms and having to take care of them comes with joy and happiness. You probably are thinking what you will do to give your baby the best care they need. As most mothers already know, the breastfeeding process is not that simple. As much as it is exciting, it can be challenging too. Here is one thing you can do though.
A nursing pillow will help to support your baby because at this stage they cannot control their head and neck. By the use of this pillow the baby is sustained to the breast. You don’t need to keep adjusting them to the right position. For those who have breastfed before without a nursing pillow will agree with me that even the smallest baby will feel heavy when you have to hold them in one position for a long period of time. So, another reason you need to have a nursing pillow is to lift the weight off your arms and back. This way you won’t get tired. Nursing pillows will provide you with a comfortable and stable surface to place your little one on the breast as they sit on your lap and wrap around your body. At the same time you will have the comfort and relaxation you need for the long nursing hours.
You will need your nursing pillow mostly in the first 4 to 6 months of breastfeeding. After that, the baby would have gained control of their head and neck and you would have gotten used to nursing. However, you may still need it during tummy time or as a cradling spot for babies who are not able to sit on their own. This will give you a good interaction view with them. They can also interact with their toys easily. From all these range of benefits, nursing pillows do make nursing an unforgettable experience.
What you need to know before buying a nursing pillow
A nursing pillow is supposed to serve you long enough and so you should make the right buying decision. How do you select your nursing pillow? Are they any different from one another? These are the questions you should ask yourself before settling on any nursing pillow. The truth is these pillows are not the same, not only in colour and size but in several other aspects. Before you can purchase a nursing pillow, here are some of the key things you should know and consider.
The length of the nursing period
Consider how long you are going to breastfeed your baby because you are going to need it until you are done. Some mothers will only nurse for a period of 3 to 6 months. Such mothers do not have to be concerned about the size or how long it is going to last. At this age most nursing pillows will accommodate the baby without any problem.
If you are planning to nurse for a long period, for instance a year, you should consider buying a large pillow which can support a bigger baby. After a year however, you might not need it since the baby is full grown to be able to support him/herself.
Does the Pillow fit?
Your baby is not the only one in the picture when it comes to nursing. You are too. You need to go for a nursing pillow with the right size and shape to fit your body. Your pillow should fit your torso for the baby’s head and body to be positioned at the height of your nipple. You have to understand that some pillows are taller and they will fit longer torsos fine. Others are not as tall. For the best pillow, purchase when you are 5-6 months pregnant to find one that will perfectly fit your midsection after birth.
Nursing pillows are designed in different shapes. The shapes are as follows:
- C- shape– This shape of nursing pillows fits almost every body type. It also provides adequate arm support no matter the side the baby is feeding from.
- O-shape – These wrap around the whole body. They can be helpful if you need additional support after birth complications or after a C-section.
- Crescent shape- They wrap around the side of your body. They might not be fit for small sized women as the sides can fall on the back of the surface you are sitting. However, there are those that can be adjusted to fit several sizes.
Fastening straps will enable the nursing pillow to fit closely around your body such that it can’t move. They are helpful because the keep the pillow more safe. You can also use them to bring the baby closer to your body. With these, the nursing process will be less distracting.
Their major undoing is that it is difficult to get them on and off and with the unpredictable times of nursing adjusting may take longer since your baby need the immediate attention. You may also be required to attend to other urgent issues that you will need to stop the nursing process for some time. Pulling the straps off may delay your response.
How easy is it to clean?
You are dealing with a baby who is fond of spitting. This makes nursing pillows prone to getting dirty each and every time. You should therefore get one that is easy to clean. You can get the nursing pillows with removable covers that can then be washed with a machine and dried. You can also opt for those that come with foam inserts. These can hand washed then dried in the sun.
The material of the nursing pillow will determine whether it can easily be washed. Some materials are hard to clean. For instance organic material. Others can be easily hand washed then dried.
The Nursing Location
Even though you might have a baby’s nursery you will often find yourself breastfeeding anywhere else. You need to consider the type of nursing pillow to buy depending on where you will be breastfeeding from, be it the living room or the kitchen floor.
Benefits of a nursing pillow
You are probably wondering, why buy a nursing pillow when can just use your arm or other material to support your baby while breastfeeding? There are so many problems will avoid for both you and your baby when you use a nursing pillow. Let’s look at what a nursing pillow can do that other materials cannot.
They will save you from shoulder, back and neck pains
The main food for a new born is milk therefore you will have to be nursing more often in just one day. Because you have to be seated to breastfeed you have to be in the most comfortable posture to avoid straining your back, shoulder or the neck. The nursing pillow will provide you with enough height to lift the baby up to the breast so you don’t have to bend. You can then support your back and let your neck relax.
Your baby will latch as needed
the baby needs to be comfortably positioned for them to latch. This can be achieved by the use of a nursing pillow because you and your little one will be all comfortable and relaxed.
You can use for other reasons apart from nursing
When you are not breastfeeding anymore you can still use the pillow for tummy time and for sit-ups for your little one. See? You don’t have to get rid of it.
Helps when bottle feeding
when using a nursing pillow, your baby will be nicely supported and he can easily bottle feed without spitting the milk. This is for those mothers that are not planning on breastfeeding.
A nice way of healing your C-section wound
a nursing pillow will give you all the comfort that you need after a c- section and before you realize it the pain is all gone. It creates a barrier between you and your baby such that the baby won’t trigger the wound with movements.
The bottom line is, while other materials for example an ordinary pillow can move from side to side interfering with the nursing process, the nursing pillow is firm. You will experience no movement whatsoever. Additionally, it has a smooth and soft surface for the maximum comfort needed while breastfeeding.
Tips on how to use a Nursing Pillow
- Relax your arm muscles. This will help prevent carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Protect your pillow from damage by placing a blanket over it. This is recommended especially if the pillow does not have a detachable cover.
Note that you should not leave the baby unattended to on a nursing pillow.
Now that we know what to look for when purchasing a nursing pillow, let us look at the best nursing pillows review.
5 Nursing Pillows to Make Breastfeeding More Comfortable
Boppy Two-sided Breastfeeding Pillow, Kensington /Gray
Designed with a lactation consultant specifically for nursing, this is one of the best nursing pillows in the market. Bobby made nursing easier for you as every information is at your disposal. Unlike, other pillows, this will completely meet your needs at the comfort of your nursery as it has two feeding surfaces, one firm and the other soft. You can feed from either side you like. The firm side has contoured foam insert that you can remove for washing.
Feel free to adjust the strap to how it fits you. It adjusts up to 52 inches. If you also don’t need the strap you can detach it. Boppy Two-sided Breastfeeding Pillow. After removing the foam insert and the strap you can machine wash your pillow and use it again after it dries. This pillow will serve you for the one year that you need to breastfeed and it will give you and your baby utmost comfort. The average supporting weight of this pillow is 7lbs-22lbs.
Reasons why you should buy this pillow
- It is thick enough and works for women with a long torso
- It is perfect for women who have had c- section delivery
- Machine washable
- Adjustable strap for all sized-women.
- Made of soft material that will enhance your comfort
- It is high enough. You won’t need additional material to have the baby reach the breast level.
- You can breastfeed your baby using more than one positon. For example the football hold and the cradle hold.
- Thanks to the hard side that has edge to edge the baby will never slip.
- It has no removable cover. You have to wash the whole pillow
- Some users say that the clips do not hold on to the strap very well and the strap tends to loosen.
Bobby Nursing Pillow and Positioner; Peaceful Jungle
As the name suggests, this pillow will make your ‘nursing jungle’ the most peaceful place. According to research done by American baby readers, Bobby Nursing Pillow and Positioner is the number one product mothers can’t afford to live without. It has been in the market for over 25 years and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This great product is made in the United States and it comes covered with a blended boppy slipcover made of cotton polyester. This means you won’t have to wash the whole pillow. You can easily remove the cover and wash.
Made of 80% polyester and 20% cotton, this pillow becomes the softest for comfortable breastfeeding. It will serve you for many years as it will transition with different development stages of a baby. It will serve as a support pillow when the baby is propping, during tummy time and when the baby is learning to sit. This pillow really is here to stay. If I were you, I would buy another slip cover such that when one is washed your pillow is never exposed to dirt as you never know when the baby will spit. This product measures 20 x 5.5 x 16 inches, thick enough for incredible support.
- The removable slipcovers makes it easier to wash
- It will take you through all the stages of baby growth i.e. propping, tummy time and sitting lessons.
- The pillow is machine washable
- You can get additional slipcovers to protect your pillow for when you wash one.
- You can actually take it with you on a journey since it has a plastic bag to carry it
- It is firm and durable
- The pillow works well with twins too
- Brings the baby to a more ergonomic position for breastfeeding
- They filled with polyester material which can disadvantageous for those who prefer other materials.
- Some users found it to be very small.
Leachco Cuddle- U Basic Nursing Pillow and More, Sage Pin Dot
This is no match to other nursing pillows. Designed with a seat wrap, you will never slide when you are reclining while using Leachco Cuddle- U Basic Nursing Pillow. The seat wrap holds the wiggles intact to enable stable reclining. Did you know that when the baby is properly reclined digestion is improved? That’s right. Proper reclining will also reduce reflux in babies. This pillow will make you achieve just that.
The pillow will take you through the growth stages of your little one as you can use it for tummy time and sit-up support. It never grows old. To add on this, the amazing pillow has a size of every breastfeeding mother, plus, you don’t need the effort to adjust it every now and then. The pillow can adjust itself. The only major undoing I find on this pillow is that the cover is cannot be removed but that is not much of a problem because you can still wash the whole pillow.
Advantages of using this pillow
- You can recline freely with your little one, no fear of sliding
- The pillow adjusts itself. It saves you the effort
- You can use it in different baby development stages. For tummy time and sit-up support.
- The size will accommodate every breastfeeding mother’s size.
- The pillow can be easily washed using a machine
- Mothers can also use them as a passenger in long trips after they are done with nursing.
- It can be used anywhere, in bed, on the couch, in the kitchen table, floor etc.
- It lifts the baby up to the breasts for breastfeeding just as it is required.
- Some people say it is not high enough to use for infants
- It has no removable cover. You have to wash the entire pillow
My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow, Grey & Yellow Fireworks
Some mothers are forced to stop nursing due to problems with latching, little do they know that proper baby position can make all the difference. That is why My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow came into existence- to give you all the support you have been yearning for. It enhance proper breastfeeding posture such that you won’t have to strain your back, arms or the neck. The fact that it is made from 100% cotton makes it soft and comfortable. When using this pillow the baby will never roll out of position when nursing because the pillow is firm and flat.
Unique to this pillow is the pocket hand where you will be able to put all your maternity materials safely and without contamination. You will be able to access them easily when you need them without even bothering to get up. This pillow can be adjusted to fit almost all sizes. It surrounds your body steadily so that it is convenient for you when positioning the baby to breastfeed. It is by far the excellent choice used in nursing hospitals and recommended by lactation consultants.
- You will be able to store the nursing materials in the handy pouch for easy accessing.
- With the adjusting strap in place it can fit most sizes of breastfeeding mothers
- Removable cover makes it easy for washing. You can also get a spare one.
- It will clip perfectly around your waist
- It supports your back, arms and the neck for enhanced comfort
- It is durable and sturdy.
- The baby is lifted up to the nipple level as required
- The foam has a kind of smell when it is still new
- Other users say the material used to make the pillow is of cheap quality
Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow Cotton
This pillow has a thick to thin design that will make it grow with the baby and you can use it for several nursing positions. The good thing about this pillow is that however much you wash it the shape still remains intact. You can use it for the entire nursing period without having to repace it. It is made with 100% cctton and filled with 100% polyester. That is why it soft, smooth and comfrotable.
This pillow is convient for use. You can use it with or wihout a cover and it will still be effective. They come minus covers but you can buy the covers separately if you need them. Dr. Brown’s Gia Nursing Pillow is the first of its kind. With it you can change the sitting and propping positions for the baby when you are nursing. It is a highly recommended pillow by lactation consultant made from outside the United States.
Why you need this pillow
- Thick to thin design makes it fit for any stage of growth of the baby
- You can use it for multiple nursing positions
- It’s smooth, and enhances comfort
- You do not necessarily need a pilow cover for this particular pillow
- The pilow and the cover can be machine washed
- It is much taller and wider than other pillows
- Works for plus sized breastfeeding mothers
- You can use it anywhere and will still work great
- The pillow is filled with polyester fabric making it inconvinient for those who prefer a different material.
- Some people do not like its large size as it consumes a lot of space.
First time mothers can bear me witness that nursing is not that all exciting as they thought it would. It comes with a wide range of challenges which need coping. However as they grow old into nursing, they keep learning new techniques. This is where they need a nursing pillow as it will help their journey much easier. Nursing pillows are very affordable and they will serve you your entire breastfeeding period. Even though our review outlines some of the best eye pillows you can find in the market today, the decision as to which one you want lies completely with you.
Good luck as you make your purchase!